I Would Name Her Rock N Roll

August 4, 2010

The most important part of a movie about my life would, without a doubt, be the soundtrack. The joyful noise which accompanies my daily happenings is much more than just auditory stimulation– to me it is closer to oxygen.

Steady beats melt my heart; ripping guitar solos wriggle their way wantonly through my grey-matter; and the first drop of a funky baseline is damn near erotic. I am not a musician, yet music is my life. I cannot read a scale, yet I would give up food before tunes.

Growing up, I recall (quite literally) falling asleep in front of large speakers on more than one occasion. My father’s audio collection was years in the making, and impressively diverse. Music was fed into my small ears even through the womb. Everything from Black Sabbath to Eric Clapton. From The Doors to Devo; The Grateful Dead to the Talking Heads. I digested it all. Every last Genesis, Zeppelin, and Yes album. I knew the Jimi Hendrix Experience before I was ever truly experienced. I had my first rockstar crush on Kurt Cobain by 7 years old.

My mother, for her part, lives and loves the blues. Robert Cray, Muddy Waters, and BB King all populate her collection. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young bring her back to hazy college days, and Stevie Ray Vaughn often helped her clean the house.

My father’s passion for music infected me in ways it took years to even realize. He and nearly all his friends were musicians– or at least makers of music. During my childhood, music was more than just sound. It was smiles and laughter, it was being with friends, sometimes it was even a coverup for the arguments. Music was there when I went to bed. There when I awoke. Music was there for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

All this exposure to sweet melody has created volumes in my head. Certain songs are part of certain volumes– each vividly dredging up a period of time. For instance, I recall in great detail the winter the Dave Matthews Band released their monumental “Under The Table and Dreaming Album.” I played violin in school ensemble. My father had a fantasy of us in a DMB-esque family band. We listened to that CD over and over for months and, to this day, I remember every lyric to Ants Marching. It’s hard to hear the album without being taken right to that time, that place.

And that is, of course, just one of many examples. As I reflect, my life is rich with musical milestones. Weeks, months, and years flash by to the right album or song. Memory and sound intertwining.

Someday, I will compile an actual soundtrack. Like a Quentin Tarantino film, the musical accompaniment of my story will be eclectic, ironic, and emotional.

The soundtrack to my life will undoubtably tell more story than any trivial literary composition ever could.

Where words fail, music speaks. [[HansChristianAndersen]]


7 Responses to “I Would Name Her Rock N Roll”

  1. EVula Says:

    For my absolute closest friend, I once made a biography mix tap, complete with a booklet that had stories about why each song was near and dear to me. It was a fantastically fun project, and I enjoyed reliving some of the songs from my childhood.

    Also, do you have a last.fm account? Fun way of putting your musical tastes out there for the world to see.

    • i dont, but a few people have suggested i get something along those lines (i think sonos has one too?)
      think that will be my next foray into even greater social networking :o)

      • EVula Says:

        I don’t use it for the social networking aspects (I’m honestly too busy to keep up with anything more than Facebook and Twitter), but I enjoy having all my music stats up there, especially when other friends have accounts and we can compare our respective favorite bands.

        I, uh, apparently listen to Dave Matthews every once and a while: http://www.last.fm/user/evula

  2. Ryan G Says:

    Recently I was thinking about an audio-auto-biography website project… something with a timeline from my birth to the present. Along the timeline there would be indications of what music entered my life, which recordings I purchased, which concerts I saw, etc… Along with this there would be indications of when major things happened in my life, like parent’s divorce, birth of my kids, etc… I’m not sure who would care about it, but I think there is some connection to psychology and music, maybe reasons why I choose certain music or why I didn’t choose certain music.

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